Georgia announces Disaster TANF program in 20 counties
ATLANTA – Georgians hit hardest by Hurricane Michael can apply for assistance to support their families under a temporary program supported by the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) and the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). DFCS will implement a Disaster Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (DTANF) in 20 Georgia counties to support families as they continue to recover from the storm. Those determined eligible for assistance will receive one lump sum payment for the family size that will equal the sum of four months benefits.
Georgia has never implemented a D-TANF program in the state’s history and may be the first state to do so.
The program extends assistance to low-income families who have suffered a loss of housing because of a natural disaster, in this case, Hurricane Michael. There were over 33,000 applications submitted for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) individual assistance and some of those families are also potentially eligible for DTANF.
Families who live in covered counties can apply for assistance beginning as early as March 4, 2019. Applications may be picked up at their local county DFCS office or applicants may call 1-833-GA-DTANF (1-833-423-8263) to request an application to be mailed directly to them. The phone lines will be open from 7:30 am until 4:30 pm daily.
To qualify for D-TANF, Georgians must meet the following criteria:
- Provide proof of application for FEMA Individual Assistance
- Reside in one of the 20 counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance at the time of the disaster
- Provide photo identification and proof of residency at the time of the disaster
- Household includes minor children under the age of 18 (or 18 and in school)
- Meet TANF basic eligibility
- Gross income under 300% of Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) for household size at the time of the disaster
Eligibility for the program requires an interview. Completed applications must be mailed to:
Disaster TANF, P.O. Box 161388, Atlanta, Georgia 30321 and must be postmarked by March 15, 2019. Applications received after this date will not be accepted.
Current TANF recipients who opt to receive D-TANF will have their current TANF case closed for a minimum of four months.
The D-TANF application period will run March 4 through March 15 for residents of the following counties: Baker, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, Worth, Calhoun, Clay, Laurens, Randolph, Sumter, Tift and Turner.
For more information on the DTANF program, visit www.dfcs.georgia.gov or call 1-833-GADTANF or 1-833-423-8263.
About Georgia SNAP assistance following Hurricane Michael
The creation of a D-TANF program is the fifth such action Georgia DFCS has taken to provide relief to low-income families since Hurricane Michael hit South Georgia Oct. 10.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the Division ran a successful Disaster Food Stamp (D-SNAP) program in 20 counties that were federally approved to receive such relief. The goal was to provide relief to low-income families.
Additionally, the Division on Oct. 13 released the monthly allotment of SNAP benefits early; benefits are typically released on a 19-day cycle between the fifth and 23rd day of each month. The
Division, on Oct. 16, also extended the deadline for families to report food lost in power outages to Oct. 31; recipients typically only have 10 days to report such losses. To date, the Division has replaced more than $24.9 million to 187K individuals in food stamp benefits to cover the loss of food spoiled in power outages.
The Division has also worked with the USDA to allow SNAP recipients in affected counties to purchase “hot” or prepared foods using their benefits, which is typically not allowed under tthe program The “hot food waiver” was in effect until Nov. 17 for SNAP recipients in 23 South Georgia counties.